The ALM bulletin is a bimonthly newsletter from Adults Learning Mathematics (ALM).
ALM is an international research forum bringing together researchers and practitioners in adult mathematics/numeracy teaching and learning in order to promote the learning of mathematics by adults.

ALM Bulletin: November 2023

Welcome to another update from Adults Learning Mathematics. As you will see from the news items in this bulletin, ALM members have been very active in the last two months with the development of the 2023/4 seminar series; plans for the next ALM conference; and the production of a new issue of our Adults Learning Mathematics International Journal (ALM-IJ). We hope these will provide our readers with some great opportunities to engage with the international ALM community, to contribute to discussions about various issues concerning adults learning mathematics and to enjoy some stimulating articles for individual reading.

Sharing our experiences, research and understanding are important features of our ALM international community. It is often when we come together that we have time to reflect and think in a way that is challenging to fit into our busy lives. ALM has a lively and enthusiastic membership of teachers and researchers from across the world who form a core body to explore issues concerning adults learning maths. We are pleased to offer our seminars and conferences to anyone who is interested in this area but if you are not a member, please do consider giving your support by becoming a member of ALM and joining our international community.

After our very successful ALM 30 conference in Limerick, the trustees have been discussing various options for ALM 31. We have included a short section in this bulletin but will keep you informed as plans develop. There is also an update on ICME 15, which promises to be another great place for ALM members to engage in discussion and share their work.

I look forward to seeing many of you at the seminar on December 6th and hope that you will all be able to benefit from at least one of the opportunities on offer in the next few months.

Best wishes

Diane Dalby
Chair of ALM trustees

ALM virtual seminar series 2023/24 - next seminar is on December 6th

You are warmly invited to join us for the first of our new ALM seminar series, which will be held online on December 6th, at 7pm UK time (2pm Eastern Standard time). The title of this seminar is Difference in adults’ interpretations of visual media sources: the what, how, and why
(reading data, using it as social cultural impact, and why people have trouble reading graphs…). We are pleased to be including presentations from two members of the
National Numeracy Network
(USA) in this seminar, alongside one of our own ALM trustees. The session will take the form of three ten-minute presentations followed by discussions on:
  • Unraveling Graphical Literacy: Investigating Students’ Interpretations of Visual Data in Print and Digital Media’ - Debasmita Basu (NNN)
  • Teaching data visualization and text analysis to fight anti-trans legislation - Victor Piercey (NNN)
  • Why people misinterpret visuals - Charlotte Arkenback (ALM)
We are looking forward to examining some new and interesting issues affecting adults learning mathematics in this seminar so please do try to join us. Please note that you will need to register in advance using the link below. Click here for more information and to register.

You can also watch previous seminars at any time on our YouTube channel.

Our next conference - ALM 31

We are delighted to announce that the next ALM conference, ALM 31, will be held on July 1st and 2nd, 2024. The conference will be available as an online event, with a possible in-person option under development. The theme of the conference will be Relationships with Mathematics in Adult Learning, which will include aspects such as:
  • adults’ responses to the changing demands for numeracy or mathematics in their personal and working lives;
  • adults’ emotional or motivational responses to learning of mathematics or numeracy;

  • relationships concerning policy and practice for adult mathematics or numeracy.
The conference will take a new format which we hope will make it accessible online to members in different time zones. There will be four regional clusters, each in a different zone (provisionally US, UK, Europe, Australia). These clusters will all follow the same basic conference programme but at a time to suit their time zone. Delegates will be able to choose to attend the cluster that is held at the most convenient time for them.

The conference programme will include:
  • pre-recorded presentations from keynote speakers
  • discussions about key topics and questions in regional clusters
  • presentations from delegates to their clusters.
There are also plans for an ongoing online shared discussion space, short live links between clusters in compatible zones and a hybrid combination of in-person and online for some clusters. This promises to be an exciting new venture so please hold the dates and watch the website for further information.

ALM International Journal (ALM-IJ)

The editors of our ALM International Journal are pleased to announce that a new issue of the journal is ready for publication and will be available on the website within the next week. This issue contains some items already published as ‘online first’ articles as well as new material:
  • Reading and understanding numerical information about COVID-19 by Greek adults - Eleni Giannakopoulou
  • Numeracy practices and vulnerability under conditions of limited financial means: "Without money, you can't survive or do anything or develop yourself" - Wiebke Curdt, Silke Schreiber-Barsch, Katharina Angermeier
  • Democracy revisited for adults learning mathematics - Lena Lindenskov
  • Numeracy, vulnerability, ethics and social justice - Gelsa Knijnik
A new online first article will also be appearing on the website soon so please watch out for The Mathematical Autobiographies of College Faculty Participating in a Quantitative Reasoning Faculty Development Program: Stories of Trauma and Triumph - Esther Wilder & Rebecca West.

We are aiming to produce a special conference issue for ALM 30. Please could those who are developing articles for this issue remember that final versions are due in February 2024 so it is probably time to get busy on those draft versions!

The editors are keen to receive new journal articles at any time on issues relevant to adults learning mathematics, either from ALM members or from those outside the ALM community.
Click here to find out how to submit articles and to read articles that are available online.

ALM Membership

ALM members may remember that a small increase in annual membership fees was agreed at the Annual General Meeting in July. We would be grateful if members could pay their subscriptions in January 2024 for the coming year and remember to adjust any automatic payments, so the correct subscription is paid. Individual membership will now be £25, with corresponding increases in corporate membership to £50 and the student rate to £6. Members’ subscriptions are used to support the work of ALM but please note that ALM trustees and other members give up their time voluntarily. You can find more information here, including how to become a member of ALM. If you have any queries, you are welcome to contact the Membership Officer at

The impact of digital technology and its potential impact on mathematics education

We have news from the UK of two developments that may be of interest to the international community. First the Royal Society is undertaking a wide-ranging programme considering Mathematical Futures. A discussion paper on “A new approach to Mathematics and Data Education” has been produced and is available on the Royal Society website along with associated research documents here.
A working group from the Joint Mathematical Council have recently published a document on Mathematics Education and Digital Technology which is available here.

Future bulletins

We hope that you are enjoying the regular ALM bulletin. If you have news from your part of the world that may be of interest to our international community, then please do get in touch with Linda Jarlskog at or send her a short draft item for the next bulletin by January 1st 2024.

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